Insurance company using Watson AI to help soldiers ease into civilian life

28 Jul 2014

IBM's Watson. Image via Wikimedia Commons

IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence (AI) has been given its first commercial role with the USAA, the insurance company set up for US soldiers looking to return to civilian life, by advising them on their financial future.

Using IBM’s Watson Engagement Advisor, the former military men and women will be able to access and ask a series of questions on the USAA website related to transitioning from a military life to a civilian one.

Watson is capable of scanning 3,000 different documents relating to the transition process and it will be able to provide relatively unique answers formed from the questions it receives, according to eWeek.

According to the US government’s official statistics, there is a considerably high turnover of military personnel making the switch to civilian life, with its estimates putting the figure around 155,000 per annum. This switch is often viewed as one of the most difficult mentally and financially.

“Putting Watson into the hands of consumers is a critical milestone toward improving how we work and live,” said Mike Rhodin, senior vice-president of the IBM Watson Group.

“We believe this new service can help men and women who served their country gain timely and relevant insights into the steps they need to successfully move to civilian life.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic